Universiteit Leiden

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Dissertation

Let us Live as Hindus

Priya Swamy defended her thesis on 27 October 2016

Author
P. Swamy
Date
27 October 2016
Links
Leiden Repository

'Let us Live as Hindus': Narrating Hindu Identity Through Temple Building Processes in Amsterdam Zuidoost (1988-2015)

'Let us Live as Hindus’: Narrating Hindu Identity Through Temple Building Processes in Amsterdam Zuidoost (1988-2015) asks how Hindu identity has been narrated through turbulent processes of temple building in Amsterdam Zuidoost. It focuses on a critical event in 2010, when a community of Hindus was ordered to evacuate a temporary space that the local district government had provided them. The author argues that struggles to establish a purpose built temple in the neighbourhood are articulated as forms of 'Hindu hurt' that are strategically narrated through the experiences of being ex-colonised indentured workers. However, the ways in which Hindu hurt are articulated shift dramatically after 2010, revealing the ways in which the trauma of losing their temporary space has constructed a moral economy in which transparency, democracy and Hindu solidarity become central tenets of ideal Hindu practice. This dissertation analyses a body of correspondence from 1988-1996 and uses extensive ethnographic interviews with various Hindu and non-Hindu actors in Amsterdam Zuidoost. It also attempts to link current discussions of citizenship in the Netherlands to scholarship on Hindu hurt in the diaspora.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. N.K. Wickramasinghe

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